Our five-pronged approach focuses on your individual strengths to develop your unique qualities towards making you an exemplary pi- designer.
Table of contents
Communication design is emerging as one of the hottest topics in the realm of mass communication but how is it different from other forms of communication and in what ways do we see it changing how we consume information? Let us delve deeper to understand it through the principles of communication design.
Communication is the process of transferring one’s knowledge, thoughts, feelings, or ideas to another person. Humans are undoubtedly social beings and need to live in communities in society to survive. Therefore, it is of absolute importance for them to communicate with each other. One starts to communicate the moment they are born. Although a human baby does not start talking until a year, they communicate their needs and wants nevertheless through eyes, blabbering, or body language.
Communication is a convoluted yet simple process of making the other person understand you. It can be verbal or nonverbal, written or visual, or just body language without any other apparent sign. However, there are a few elements that stay true across all forms of communication. The seven elements namely, sender, encoding, message, medium, receiver, decoding, and feedback are vital for a successful conversation. They can be briefly defined as:
Visual communication has the power to evoke emotions, enhance storytelling and create memorable experiences. It is the process of conveying information and ideas through visual elements such as images, symbols, typography and colours. It is a powerful means of communication that transcends language barriers and engages viewers in a visually compelling manner. Visual content attracts and retains attention more effectively than text alone. It helps in conveying messages quickly, making it ideal for social media platforms, websites, and digital advertisements.
Visual communication has evolved significantly from its early stages to the digitally driven world we live in today. In the past, visual communication relied heavily on traditional mediums such as print, paintings, and hand-drawn illustrations. Artists and painters worked with physical tools like brushes, pens, and paper to convey their messages. However, with the advent of digital technology, the landscape of visual communication has been revolutionised. Digital mediums, such as graphic design software, digital cameras, motion graphics tools, and interactive media platforms, have emerged as powerful tools for creating and sharing visual content. This shift has opened up new avenues for creativity, collaboration, and engagement, making visual communication an integral part of our digitally interconnected world. Visual Communication is like a master storyteller who weaves tales through captivating visuals, igniting emotions and leaving a lasting impression.
“Did you know that our brains process visuals a staggering 60,000 times faster than text?”
In a world saturated with information overload, visual communication acts as a visual storyteller, helping us navigate the vast sea of content and creating memorable experiences that linger in our minds. Imagine scrolling through your social media feed and stumbling upon a captivating infographic that effortlessly presents complex data in a visually appealing and easy-to-understand format. In an instant, you grasp the key insights and share it with others, spreading knowledge and sparking conversations.
Effective visual communication adds depth, personality, and a touch of magic to otherwise mundane content. Whether it's a stunning logo that instantly represents a brand's values, an eye-catching poster that invites you to an exciting event, or a beautifully designed website that guides you effortlessly through its pages - visual communication plays a pivotal role in engaging, inspiring, and connecting with audiences. It is the universal language that brings us together, surpassing cultural barriers and touching our very core. It acts as a guiding light amidst the overwhelming sea of information, ensuring that our messages are not only seen but also understood and treasured. Through its captivating forms, visual communication becomes the bridge that connects us, resonating deep within our souls.
Visual Communication plays a significant role in various aspects of our lives and is essential for the following reasons:
Visual communication is the practice of communication through visual elements such as videos, pie charts, videos, infographics, etc. One can infer that any communication that employs one’s sense of sight to deliver a message without the usage of any verbal cues is termed visual communication. A language is a continually evolving man-made tool that has developed in alignment with human societies. It is designed to work in a coalition with the cultural, social, political, and historical paradigms and cater to the needs of a specific community. Therefore, it can vary based on these presupposed premises that go into the fundamental creation of language so much that the same sign can have extreme connotations that contradict each other depending on the context and location.
In such a scenario, visual communication is an effective method to get across one’s ideas in a clear and concise manner. Even when two individuals do not understand each other’s language, they can easily decipher visuals to understand each other. The human mind registers visuals with way more ease than words or texts. The advancement in technology that has been realised by human civilisation in the last few decades has impacted the ways and forms of communication as well. It has led to the emergence of new types of visual forms of communication on a daily basis. Moreover, visual aids have proved to be an intriguing method to make constructive communication. A few of them are described below:
Here are some examples of visual communication:
Coca-Cola employed the highly creative marketing gimmick "Share a Coke" to target individuals rather than the general public. This allowed them to interact with the customer on a much more intimate level, strengthening the link between them and the brand.
Coca cola launched the campaign in 2011 in Australia and after receiving such positive press, other nations decided to follow suit. The simple notion of putting people's names on Coca-Cola bottles had a remarkable impact on sales. Everyone tried to track down a bottle or can with their name on it as part of the campaign and they promptly took to social media to share their individualised bottle.
The fact that the advertisement immediately urged viewers to purchase and share a Coke with friends was one of the factors contributing to its success. With its second call to action, Coca-Cola created a remarkable social media campaign by encouraging people to share their Coke with others online.
Some categories and requests in advertising are regarded as "boring"; these are mainly commercial goods and demands like brochures or specific tactical commercials. A campaign to publicise the launch of a new retail location can likewise qualify as monotonous. However, some creative teams see this as a challenge and make an effort to provide engaging work for routine chores as well. IKEA has a new store in London's Greenwich neighbourhood, but that news isn't very noteworthy. However, the team used the fact that the store contains eco-friendly elements like solar panels, rainwater collection systems, and a roof garden to fabricate a tale. As a result, it was advertised as a "sustainable store" that is best reached by walking.
This apology advertisement is one of the best of all time. KFC's operations in the UK ran out of chicken in February 2018. KFC stabbed customers in the back with a full-page advertisement in the UK newspaper Metro, rearranging its three famous initials to provide an explicit but amusing response to the shortage of chicken at a store. A bucket marked "FCK" from KFC is shown in the advertisement. The company then apologised for what it realises was an unacceptable mistake below its design. Businesses must keep in mind that an authentic apology is the best policy and it can even be made fun of. A company recovered from negative press and even emerged on the other side with a net-positive outcome for the brand by combining humility, class, humour and company pride in a message, as seen in the KFC's advertisement.
Visual communication, in general, helps to visualise better and put things in perspective. However, one must understand that putting a lot of unnecessary information might make these visual aids look cluttered and more difficult to apprehend. Therefore, one must keep in mind the five basic principles of visual communication in order to smoothen the process and deliver information efficiently. But what are these principles of visual communication that hold the potential to significantly impact and alter the entire process of communication? The five principles are as follows:
From the masterful strokes of a graphic designer crafting visually stunning designs to the digital wizardry of an animator breathing life into characters, visual communication is a realm of endless possibilities. It is where UX/UI designers create immersive digital experiences, web designers build interactive online landscapes, and branding specialists shape the very essence of a company's identity. Visual Communication opens up a wide variety of avenues, where creativity knows no bounds and every image tells a captivating story.
Here are some examples of job roles across different avenues of visual communication:
Graphic designers create visual concepts using computer software or by hand, and they develop layouts and designs for various print and digital mediums. For example, a graphic designer might create a visually stunning logo for a brand.
Art directors are responsible for the visual style and imagery in various forms of media, including print, digital, and film. They oversee the artistic direction of projects and collaborate with other creative professionals. For instance, an art director may work on a film production, ensuring that the visual elements align with the director's vision.
UX/UI designers focus on creating user-friendly and visually appealing interfaces for digital products, such as websites and mobile applications. They consider user experience, interaction design, and visual aesthetics. As an example, a UX/UI designer might design a sleek and intuitive mobile app interface for a banking application.
Film makers oversee and manage the entire process of creating a film, from concept development to production and post-production. They bring stories to life on the screen through their creative vision, directing actors, managing the technical aspects, and shaping the final cut of the film.
Commercial art is a form of art created for commercial purposes, primarily advertising. It is used to inform, promote, and sell goods and services by using visual images to communicate a message. Commercial artists create art used to sell products, like logos, packaging, and advertisements. They help visually promote the product or company by creating visually appealing designs that attract the target audience. Commercial artists use a variety of mediums, including digital and traditional art forms, to create their work. Their work can be seen in magazines, newspapers, billboards, product packaging, and other forms of advertising.
Animators bring static visuals to life through motion and storytelling. They use various techniques, including traditional hand-drawn animation and computer-generated imagery (CGI), to create animated sequences for films, video games, and multimedia projects. As an example, an animator may create lifelike characters and captivating visual effects for an animated feature film.
Branding specialists develop and maintain brand identities for organisations, ensuring consistency across all visual elements. They work on logo design, brand guidelines, and marketing materials. For instance, a branding specialist might create a comprehensive visual identity for a new startup, including logo, colour palette, typography, and brand messaging.
Visual communication is the most common form of communication in the world right now. Even though it does not take into view the predicaments of the visually impaired or differently abled community, it is, nevertheless, an effective form of communication. Especially with the incoming of various communication software such as skype or zoom or instant messaging apps such as Instagram, Facebook, or TikTok, visual communication has transgressed the temporal and geographical boundaries. One of the most interesting examples remains the use of these platforms during lockdowns when not only apps like these were a reminder of people existing outside one’s four walls, but also schools, offices, and colleges employed this communication software to function. Audiovisual communication through these platforms became a ray of hope in the pandemic.
Visual communication is a form of communication that relies on visual elements to convey information, ideas and messages. It has the advantage of being able to simplify complex information, enhance understanding and evoke emotions as a viewer. It also helps overcome language barriers by using universally recognizable symbols, icons and images. Visuals also have the ability to convey emotions and experiences in a way that words alone cannot. Visual communication is used by artists, designers and storytellers to express feelings, moods and narratives.
Read our blog on careers in visual communication design to know more about careers in this field.
What is the scope of visual communication?
Ans: The scope of visual communication is vast and encompasses various disciplines and industries. It involves the use of visual elements to convey information, ideas and messages to a target audience.Graphic design, advertising, marketing, the arts, film, television, web design, and user interface design are just a few professions that use visual communication. It utilises a wide range of visual mediums, including images, typography, illustrations, symbols, colours and layout, to effectively communicate and engage with viewers.
2) What is the role of visual communication in our daily life?
Ans: Visual communication plays a significant role in our daily lives, permeating various aspects of our existence. From the moment we wake up until we go to bed, we encounter visual communication in numerous forms. It guides us through the navigation of our surroundings, from road signs that indicate directions to visual cues in public spaces that provide information and ensure safety. In advertising and marketing, visual communication captures our attention, influences our purchasing decisions and shapes our perceptions of products and brands. It enriches our entertainment experiences through films, television shows, and digital media, transporting us to different worlds and evoking emotions.
a) Watch this session on Animation and get an idea about how to find moving images in various media and why non-narrative storytelling is important for creativity.
b) Read about the Communication Design Programme at IIAD here.
c) Want to get admission information? Click here .
d) Read this article to know more about benefits of a good Graphic Design
Did you know that we spend about 90% of our time indoors! We use the built environment, especially interior spaces,…
We live in a hyperlinked, hyper-connected world! Whatsapp, Instagram, Snapchat, Facebook, Youtube, Google, have become verbs that represent “things we…
The moment one hears the word fashion, one immediately visualises, beautiful clothes, bags, accessories, interesting prints, embroidery and colours, glamour,…
In the first of our series of interactions with you, the aspiring Communication Design student, I think it is important…
The digital age has allowed photography to boom like never before. It’s a massive, commercial industry which is growing explosively…